Want to turn your passion for all things Pinterest into a money maker, or even a full-time business? There are several legitimate ways to do so from the comfort of your own home – or the coffee shop, or the bleachers at a Little League game!
The “right” way for you to make money on Pinterest depends on how involved you want to be. Some options allow you a nearly passive stream of income, while others may launch you into a new career or even business ownership.
Take a look at six options for making money on Pinterest – there’s bound to be one that piques your (P)interest. 😉
1. Make Money on Pinterest Using Affiliate Links
Many bloggers use the traffic Pinterest drives to their site. When you use Pinterest to drive people to blog posts which contain affiliate links, people click on your links, buy something, and you get a cut. Easy!
Take some time to research affiliate programs. You’ll want to choose one with access to the brands you want to work with and one that will ensure you get paid on time. At Tailwind, our affiliate program runs on Shareasale. They have merchants in over three dozen categories.
Our Marketing Manager Melissa says, “I love that they process the payments on our behalf so that our affiliates don’t have to wait for me to get their hard-earned cash. There’s a reason it’s one of the largest affiliate platforms out there!”
Another great choice for generating affiliate income is Amazon’s Affiliate Program. Official word from Amazon in the US is that you cannot link directly from Pinterest to Amazon using affiliate links. But, you can link your Pins to your blog posts containing Amazon affiliate links. This method is likely to bring in more commissions for you anyway.
The key to successful affiliate marketing on Pinterest is beautiful Pins and inspiring descriptions. Link these to engaging blog posts. Lots of them. Learn more about how to make money with affiliate marketing on Pinterest.
Affiliate marketing on Pinterest may be right for you if you enjoy blogging and have a fair amount of website traffic (or are able to wait for that to build). You’ll need to commit to regular Pinning, too (not so hard when you use a scheduler like Tailwind)
2. Make Money on Pinterest By Selling Products
Are you selling your products on ETSY or Teachers Pay Teachers? With ninety-six percent of Pinners using Pinterest to plan purchases, you need to get your products on Pinterest. Share lifestyle images of your products (they tend to convert better). Besides Pinning images photographed in real-life settings, Pin product-only shots. This will enable Pinterest’s visual search to pick up your items and give them the exposure you need.
You can also try creating a collage of related items (think mood board) to appeal to many tastes with one Pin. That Pin should link either to a category page showing all the products for sale, or to a blog post with links to each.
While you can Pin images that link directly to a product page, try instead linking to a blog post that includes the item. Make it easy to get to the product page from the blog post. This allows people a chance to get to know and trust you before you ask for the sale.
On that note, remember that 97% of searches on Pinterest are unbranded, so people are not necessarily searching for your store. In fact, chances are they have never heard of you. That means you need to build trust with them in a fraction of a second. Here are some ways to do that:
- Make it easy to contact you from the site.
- Publish your return policy prominently on your site.
- Offer free shipping.
- Keep the style of your Pins consistent to the look of your website.
- Add subtle branding to your Pins.
Selling Products on Pinterest might be right for you if you already have an online store with items that do well on Pinterest. It’s also a great place to start promoting a new store – as long as your items are Pinterest-y! And remember to use Tailwind’s Pin inspector to see which of your Pins are getting the most engagement. You’ll want to make more like that!
Just how labor intensive this is depends on several factors. For instance, if you’re making everything you sell, that’s obviously going to be more work than if you’re simply packing and shipping. If you’re working with a drop shipper, this could be pretty close to passive income. Be aware though, that commodity items don’t tend to do well on Pinterest. You’ll either need something with a degree of novelty or the ability to package and present it in a unique way.
Tailwind can help by making it easy to Pin your products to all the relevant boards (try board lists!) at just the right time. Batching your scheduling with Tailwind leaves you more time to create new products, find new suppliers, or write more great blog posts!
3. Make Money By Promoting Your Services On Pinterest
Think of Pinterest as an extension of your content marketing. Pinterest is not the place to sell your service. You need to first get Pinners to your site where you can start to build trust. Get them on your email list as soon as you can and start building a relationship that way.
Yes, Pinterest can work wonders for lead generation. Link Pins to blog posts with a strong call to action (CTA). Your CTA could encourage people to join your email list, download a resource in exchange for their email, or opt in for a free trial or consult. Don’t hide that CTA way down at the bottom of your post – readers don’t always stick around that long! Instead, use CTAs throughout the post, or try a slide-in CTA.
Remember that people coming to your site from Pinterest may be visiting for the very first time. Make sure it’s clear what you do and how they can work with you. Build trust from the moment they arrive on your site.
Aside from building an email list, you can use Pinterest to book new clients. Encourage people to contact you for a consultation or appointment right away. Pin images linking to your case studies or other content that establishes you as an expert. Make sure each includes a strong CTA to request an appointment or contact you.
This method of making money on Pinterest might be right for you if you enjoy marketing. Make sure your marketing funnels are in place and you’re ready to follow up on email leads. Commit to an earnest effort for at least six months before attempting to evaluate your success. If you don’t have much time for blogging, consider using a VA. If they’re already using Tailwind to schedule Pins, they may have some extra time for you!
4. Make Money as a Pinterest Influencer
Does everything you touch on Pinterest seem to turn to gold? Do you have a huge Pinterest following? Do your Pins generate an immense number amounts of clicks? Awesome! You should profit from your success.
You can work with big brands to partner on group boards. You bring in the followers and engagement, they get the website traffic. If you’re already working with brands on other platforms, start there. If your Midas touch is limited to Pinterest for now, look for brands which have already had influencer partnerships. Look for brands you’d like to work with and see if they’ve had group boards with influencers in the past. You can also take advantage of Pinterest’s Pin Collective. They match brands and influencers.
Some brands are willing to pay by the Pin as well. They may look at your follower count but are likely to understand that it’s clicks and saves on Pins that really matters. Be prepared to provide that information.
Keep and grow your influencer status by Pinning consistently and at the right times. It doesn’t have to take long, either. Many Pinners schedule out their Pins for the week all at once with Tailwind.
5. Make Money on Pinterest By Becoming a Pinterest Consultant
Countless businesses could benefit from Pinterest marketing – if only they knew how to go about it. If you understand how Pinterest works, can create and execute a Pinterest strategy, and are able to make beautiful images, you may be able to help others succeed on Pinterest.
Read everything you can about Pinterest marketing. Keep up with the Pinterest business blog. Most importantly, Pin for yourself and for your business. Learn first hand what really works. Learn to spot trends, run tests, and generate ongoing growth.
Pinterest consultants are in demand on sites like Upwork, and while it can be tough to find a gig there that pays well, it’s a great place to get started. There are also Facebook groups whose members post social media jobs. You could even work for Pinterest some day!
BONUS!! Love Pinterest or Instagram and want to join a great team of smart people? We’re hiring!!
Responsible Pinterest consultants use and recommend tools that set their customers up for success, which is why many choose Tailwind. Using non-partner tools come with risks you don’t want to pass on! During my agency days, I relied on Tailwind analytics (particularly Board Insights) to help me analyze client Pinterest accounts and build strategies. Make it part of your arsenal!
6. Make Money on Pinterest with Advertising
Sign up with AdSense or another advertising network to put banner ads on your site. When you drive traffic from Pinterest to your site and people click on the ads, you make money!
While this is perhaps the least work-intensive option, the efficacy of banner ads has been dropping for years, so it may also be the least effective for you. The more targeted traffic you can get to your site, the more you’re likely to make from ads. Pinterest is great at driving traffic!
To generate the most traffic possible, Pin irresistible Pins with great keyword-rich descriptions. Make more than one image for each post to increase its exposure on Pinterest. Then sit back and collect your earnings!
Earlier this month, Kate Ahl of Simple Pin Media joined me for a Facebook Live for our Pilot episode of our new monthly show on all things Pinterest.
We each started with a Pinterest newbie tip, what’s new in Promoted Pins (because I can’t help myself), and then an audience request sent us off in the direction of using Pinterest to monetize, which lead to this post.
Do you make money on Pinterest? Have you found a way to do so that we didn’t mention? Please share!
Any method of making money on Pinterest requires consistent Pinning at the right times. Get a free trial of Tailwind and see how easy that can be! Sign up with Pinterest.
Alisa Meredith is Pinterest Product Specialist at Tailwind — a Pinterest marketing tool, scheduling tool, planning tool and analytics platform. She is a sought-after speaker and teacher on Pinterest and Promoted Pins in particular, having spoken at Social Media Marketing World, Agents of Change and appearing on The Art of Paid Traffic and Social Pros podcasts. Alisa has invested heavily in becoming an expert in her craft – realizing (and loving) the fact that the learning never ends! She lives in coastal North Carolina with her pampered pets Pepe the couch potato Cavapoo, and more cats than she’d like to admit to.